Evolving a Self-Replicating Molecule Is a “Purple Unicorn”
On a new episode of ID the Future, Eric H. Anderson reads from his newly co-authored book Evolution and Intelligent Design in a Nutshell, written to provide a clear and simple introduction to the evolution/ID controversy, and a broad overview of the evidence for design in nature. That evidence includes cosmic fine tuning and the Big Bang, the origin of life, irreducibly complex machines, and the Cambrian explosion. Download the podcast or listen to it here.
In this excerpt, Anderson tells of Richard Dawkins’s glib assurances that the mystery of the origin of life is one not far from being solved. Not so, Anderson says. Origin-of-life researchers haven’t found a pathway to a self-replicating biological entity, the beginning point for any sort of Darwinian evolution.
And it’s not for lack of time, effort, or funding. The single cell that Darwin saw as a relatively simple blob has proven to be far more complex than anything anyone previously imagined. What about a self-reproducing molecule, thought to be easier to evolve than a full-blown cell? As Anderson explains, the idea remains a purple unicorn, and for reasons that are perhaps most easily appreciated by looking at the ongoing attempts to build a self-reproducing 3D printer.